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Top 10 consumer complaints in Colorado in 2010 and early 2011

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The Colorado Attorney General's Office has compiled its list of the top 10 complaints it received in 2010 -- an unhappy roster broken down generically and specifically. In both cases, gripes about rebates hold the top spot. But when it comes to businesses by name, the outfit that prompted the most brickbats was the National Energy Rebate Fund, whose home page actually encourages unhappy folks to contact the Colorado AG.

That's followed by some big names, including DirecTV, Dish Network, Qwest and Video Professor -- some of whom resurface in the list assembled for the first two months of this year.

Check out the details in the following press release:

Attorney General unveils top 2010 consumer complaints

DENVER -- Colorado Attorney General John Suthers unveiled today statistics on the top consumer complaints for 2010 and the first two months of 2011 to mark the beginning of National Consumer Protection Week.

"Investigating companies that defraud Colorado consumers is one of the most important jobs of Colorado's attorney general," Suthers said. "Thanks to our aggressive outreach, warning consumers about prevalent scams and informing Coloradans on how to protect themselves, we have made great progress over the past five years. The growing number of complaints Coloradans submit to us highlights the strides we have made in informing consumers about types of fraud and how to report scams to us as well as our federal counterparts."

During the 2010 calendar year, Colorado consumers filed 6,462 complaints with the Office of the Attorney General -- a nearly 37 percent increase over 2009's total of 4,723 complaints and a 117 percent increase over 2008's total of 2,969 complaints.

The top 10 types of complaints received last year were:

Type of business/Complaints

1. Rebate offers: 704

2. Utility complaints (cable and satellite television): 535

3. Consumer finance and loan companies: 359

4. Personal care products: 215

5. Online shopping services: 191

6. Roofing and guttering contractors: 174

7. Telephone (Cell phones and equipment): 151

8. Magazine subscription agents: 143

9. Tanning salons: 138

10. Automobile dealers: 120

By business, the top 10 complaint-getters for 2010 were:

Business/Complaints

1. National Energy Rebate Fund: 621

2. Real Talk Network: 337

3. DirecTV: 271

4. At Last Fulfillment: 217

5. Dish Network: 197

6. At The Beach: 137

7. Vacation Ventures: 100

8. American Shingle: 85

9. Qwest: 85

10. Video Professor, Inc.: 81

During January and February 2011, Colorado consumers filed 703 of complaints with the Office of the Attorney General.

The top 10 types of complaints were:

Type of business/Complaints

1. Utility complaints (cable and satellite television): 77

2. Tanning salons: 70

3. Telephone (Cell phones and equipment): 22

4. Internet shopping services: 19

5. Telephone (equipment and systems dealers): 16

6. Consumer finance and loan companies:16

7. Business consultants: 9

8. Magazine subscription agents: 9

9. Rebate offers: 9

10. Automobile dealers: 8

The top 10 complaint-getters by business for January and February 2011 were:

Business/Complaints

1. At The Beach: 70

2. DirecTV: 45

3. Dish Network: 22

4. Real Talk Network: 16

5. Qwest: 16

6. Corporate Acquisitions Group: 9

7. National Energy Rebate Fund: 8

8. Western Union: 8

9. E-470 Public Highway Authority: 6

10. Ivory White: 6

If a consumer believes they have been defrauded or victimized by a Colorado business or nonprofit, they can file a report by visiting www.coloradoattorneygeneral.gov/complaint or by calling 1-800-222-4444. Consumers interested in receiving updates on the latest scams facing Coloradans as well as information on how to avoid being victimized can sign up for the Consumer Fraud Awareness newsletter by visiting www.coloradoattorneygeneral.gov/fraudawareness.

To learn more about the Office of the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Section and its recent cases, visit www.coloradoattorneygeneral.gov. To learn more about National Consumer Protection Week, visit www.consumer.gov.

More from our Follow That Story archive: "The Video Professor Sues His Unnamed Critics."

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